Desert Island Discs

John Rentoul

Desert Island 300x187 Desert Island DiscsThe democracy of blogs and Spotify mean that we can all be on Desert Island Discs. So here are my eight “records”.

1. “Friends”, The Photos. Much underrated band from 1980.

2. “Tellin’ Stories”, The Charlatans. Recent discovery via David Mills.

3. “The Beauty of the Rain”, Dar Williams. Recent discovery via Chris Dillow, whose blog takes its title from the fabulous lyrics of another of her songs, “What Do You Hear In These Sounds?”

4. “Ships”, Anais Mitchell. Recent discovery via Simmy Richman, my colleague at The Independent on Sunday.

5. “Coming Down”, Dum Dum Girls.

6. “Heartbeats”, Jose Gonzales. Picked this up from somewhere on the internet.

7. “Almost Gold”, Jesus and Mary Chain.

8. “Nuvole Bianche”, Ludovico Einaudi.

My book would be the third volume of Robert Caro’s life of Lyndon Johnson, because I haven’t read it yet, I know that it is good, and it would take me a week or so to read it, by which time I should be rescued. My luxury would be something to write with – or do we have that? I have forgotten the “rules”. Or insect repellent; or American football videos. And at the end you are supposed to select just one track to keep, which would be Dar Williams, but only because it’s my current favourite.

That is a problem with Desert Island Discs: it is simply a device around which to conduct an interview. No one is that interested in what your favourite music is, unless it coincides, or at least overlaps, with theirs, or there is some soppy story behind it, or if it is chosen for effect, as Julie Burchill chose the Israeli national anthem.

Anyway, I haven’t chosen this lot for effect, or for what I would really want on a desert island (because I’d soon be bored with the same eight things and might want more variety and complexity); they’re just stuff I like at the moment.

And if it’s an interview you want, there’s a kind of interview with me from two and a half years ago over at Norman Geras’s.

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  • Hill244

    As any fule kno the top eight are
    Bach (Goldberg)
    Elvis (Mess of blues)
    Szerelem, szerelem (Sebastyen)
    Bei mir bist du schon (Andrews)
    M.I.A (Bad girls)
    Strangers (No more heroes)
    Bjork (Play dead)
    Liquidator (Harry J Allstar)

  • Pacificweather

    Kirsty Young just blogged to say that there is no way John Rentoul is getting on the show with those 8 records. She is still recovering from the Julie Birchill interview.

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